by Ari Chadwick-Saund
Eye-opening to look back on that year -
That first time you came out as queer.
You’ll fit the stereotypes and then break the mold
All while fearless and charming and maybe too bold.
Your patience lacks and you stand in your own way;
God you make an adorable babydyke gay.
Irrepressibly you, your fight begins here –
Cause not everyone’s going to love you, my dear.
But plenty will, more than you ever could guess.
Yeah - even right now as a total hot mess.
You’ve got guts and gumption – never doubt it’s true.
I love you so damn much.
Blue from adolescence (okay, birth),
I tried adding colors as I grew.
But other kids must’ve mixed better,
Because blue became all that I knew.
I’d chase after yellows, purples, pinks
Snapped shots of some vibrant other hue.
But in my darkroom mind, developed -
Everything’s permeated blue.
If a heap of dust is all you see,
Lean closer in and observe.
Particles jostle and tumble free,
Ever shifting. Don’t lose your nerve
As flames erupt and start to breathe
And the heat engulfs your face.
Feathers unfurl, talons unsheathe -
None could move you from this place
When, rising and shaking off the grit,
She calls with her sonorous voice.
Telling you to unstick where you sit
To begin again - forever a choice.
Ari Chadwick-Saund (they/them) is a nationally produced playwright, poet and performer based in Portland, Oregon. They serve as a company member of Theatre Diaspora, Oregon’s only professional Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) theatre company. Recent and current production work includes collaborations with Body Home Fat Dance, Risk/Reward PDX and On The Boards Seattle, Renee's Queer Cabaret, Oregon Children's Theatre, LineStorm Playwrights and Bag & Baggage Theatre, Profile Theatre, Artist Repertory Theatre, Kryptic Films, APANO/AMP, Advance Gender Equity in the Arts and Literary Arts. Recent poetry publications include collections in Pile Press’ Winter Issue Vol. 3 and Mythos Magazine’s Moon Goddess Issue. They are currently working on publishing their first poetry chapbook, Twist the Legend.